Drinking water crisis in CHT acute | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Drinking water crisis in CHT acute

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Climbing up the hills with jars full of water from the plane land by women and girls is a common picture of the remote mountainous areas in the three districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), as the areas are reeling under acute drinking water shortage.Shanti Bala Chakma of Barbal area of Rangamati said, “We used to go to the fountains early in the morning to collect water. Otherwise, we do not get water.”
Like Shanti, the other housewives of the remote hills are facing the same difficulties and agony for water.
Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachhari, three hilly districts of the CHT, have been suffering from acute drinking water crisis, particularly in the dry season for many years. There are many areas in the districts, which have no tube-well within miles of the localities.
In some areas, tube-wells have been gone out of order for many years and in many areas where the tube-wells are in order, but no water. So, the women of the localities would have to depend on sources of surface water such as waterfall, canal and ponds, which is unsafe for drinking. The people of the hilly areas suffer
from water related diseases after drinking the water.
Engineer Abdul Baten of Public Health Engineering in Bandarban said they are trying their best to supply drinking water to the hilly areas of the district.
“The water of canal and fountains is impure and unsafe for drinking. The water of fountains supplied through the pipelines is comparatively pure,” he said.
District administrations, Power Development Board (PWD), CHT Development Board and some non-government organizations such as BRAC, Green Hill and Karitas are working for supplying pure water alongside providing sanitation facilities to the hilly people.
Engineer Sohrab Hossain of Public Health Engineering said, “Pure water is now being supplied through three projects jointly taken by the government and UNICEF.” Sohrab, who is also entrusted with addition charge of
Khagrachhari, said, “Around 52 percent areas of Bandarban and 58 percent areas of Khagrachhari have already been brought under the coverage of pure drinking water.” – Resource Spring

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